APPEAL OF THE FIRST HIERARCH OF THE RUSSIAN ORTHODOX AUTONOMOUS CHURCH
in connection with the negotiations which took place between the ROCOR(L) and the ROC(MP) in Moscow between November 17-21, 2003
The most precious thing for us in this life, undoubtedly, is our soul, which is not worth even the entire world with all of its joys. Eternal life with God or eternal death–this is the end of our earthly sojourn. The path of sorrows and persecutions for the name of Christ is exactly what the Lord Himself promised to His little flock. Wide is the gate and broad is the way that leadeth away to destruction, and many are they who enter through it.
Over the course of several days, we have all been witnesses of the meetings between the representatives of the Church Abroad and the leadership of the Moscow Patriarchate (MP). This event has taken place not by accident, but is the result of a long preparation. It cannot fail to evoke sorrow in the hearts of true Orthodox Christians. For many, it has already become evident that the leadership of the Church Abroad went to the negotiations with the ROC MP, having been attracted to them by the idea of a political unification. They did not know what the MP was from within, they did not know what we the faithful living in Russia know. We know what it is that hides there behind the showy faćade of their "religious revival" and golden cupolas.
It is naēve to think that the time of the totalitarian atheistic regime has passed into history and that everything has changed. An evil tree does not bring forth good fruit; and repentance, even if it has taken place in great secrecy between the ROCOR(L) and the MP, has not washed away sins. The sin of Sergianism, the sin of the heresy of ecumenism, the sin of betrayal of the truth, the sin of corruption and hypocrisy, have not disappeared! In order to be convinced of this, it is enough to remember the entire Soviet itinerary, worked out by the atheists, by which the Moscow Patriarchate unswervingly and pompously marched, along with her hierarchs.
From the writings of the holy Fathers it is known that pious lay people, elders, zealous pastors and teachers, priests and missionaries do not by themselves make up the Church, which, according to the words of St. Cyprian of Carthage, is found in the Orthodox episcopacy: "Where the bishop is, there is the Church." No matter how many lay people enter the MP, they can never turn her into the Church of Christ, for: "as is the episcopacy, so is the Church."
At the present time, the collective confession of the entire episcopacy of the ROC MP must not be recognized as Orthodox because not one of the ROC MP's unions with the heretics (Balamand and Chambesy) has been condemned by them. Prayers with the heterodox continue even until now. The MP takes part in all ecumenical projects, and the hierarchs of the MP continue to conduct blasphemous "divine services." The fidelity of the MP to the ecumenical movement was confirmed by the 1994, 1997, and 2000 sobors of the full Synod of Bishops. It is superfluous to say that the Moscow Patriarchate does not now, nor ever has, condemned Ecumenism or Sergianism.
During the past few days, in Moscow, and in front of the whole world, at the same time as they are receiving the delegation of the Church Abroad, the MP hosted an ecumenical conference, laughing in the face of those who are still hoping for the repentance of the MP.
The entire world was witness to the hierarchs of the ROCOR praying together with Alexei II and with members of his synod. Having concluded an ecumenical prayer with unrepentant heretics, the ROCOR has shown itself to be in violation, not only of the Apostolic and Conciliar Canons, but even of its own anathema against the heresy of Ecumenism, which had been promulgated by the Synod of Bishops of the ROCOR in 1983. At that time, the Church Abroad stood for keeping and defending the true teaching of the Faith. At that time, the voice of the ROCOR was a ray "of the light of Truth" in the windowless darkness of the ecumenists' lies, in which almost all of the nations of the world are drowning. Now, however, the hierarchs of the ROCOR are asking for forgiveness for having done so from the main violators of the rules of the Apostles and of the Holy Fathers–the MP! Today, we see the disgraceful end of the ROCOR, once presaged by the ever-memorable Bishop Gregory (Grabbe).
We call upon all who are zealous for the purity of Orthodoxy to strengthen their prayers for the enlightenment of the errant and for their return to the path of the Truth. Today, the MP is uniting with the ROCOR, tomorrow it will be with the Vatican, as already done by the Ecumenical Patriarchs Athenagoras, Dimitrios, and Bartholomeos. It will be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment, than it will be for them.
First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church